We study the interplay between Auger effects and ionization processes in the limit of strong electronic confinement in core/shell CdSe/ZnS semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots. Spectrally resolved fluorescence decay measurements reveal a monotonic increase of the photoluminescence decay rate on excitation density. Our results suggest that Auger recombination accelerates ionization processes that lead to the occupation of dark, nonemissive nanocrystal states. A model is proposed in the quantized Auger regime describing these experimental observations and providing an estimate of the Auger assisted ionization rates
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